Showing posts with label Media/homophobia. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Media/homophobia. Show all posts

November 19, 2018

One of Australia's Leading Mags Shuts Down After It Refuses to Feature Same Sex Couples


One of Australia's leading wedding magazines is shutting down after it refused to feature same-sex couples. BBC
Luke and Carla Burrell, founders of White magazine, said advertisers had abandoned them in droves.
The Christian couple said they made the choice because they had "no desire to create a social, political or legal war".
Australia legalised gay marriage in December last year after the country overwhelmingly voted in favour of it. 
In a farewell post on its website, the magazine's founders said they had been targeted by "a flood of judgement," and that couples they featured had been sent online abuse.
"White Magazine has always been a secular publication, but as its publishers, we are Christian. We have no agenda but to love," they wrote.
"Like many people, we have had to reflect on our beliefs," the founders wrote. "It's a long and continuing journey." 
Photographer Lara Hotz, who shot three covers for the magazine, told media in August that it wasn't including gay couples - though it hadn't said so publically.
"It appears they are happy to take money, content and photographs from LGBTQI advertisers and contributors, but are yet to support and represent us in the same way as heterosexual couples are represented in the magazine," radio programme Hack quoted her as saying.
The photographer said she did not want to force the magazine to include same-sex weddings, but felt its stance should be made transparent.

Presentational white space

A Facebook post by White drew a mixed response, with some praising the founders for sticking to their principles, and others branding them homophobes who did not deserve to be in business. 
"It doesn't seem to me that your agenda is just to love, it seems like your agenda is just to love straight people," wrote Ruth Parker.
Another commenter, Cynthia McKenzie, said she felt the magazine's freedom of speech had been impeded, writing: "Unfortunately today if you have faith and don't agree with same-sex marriage, you can't run your own business the way you want."
White magazine is not the first enterprise to shut after a diversity row. Last month, an Oregon bakery that had refused to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple closed down for good.

July 21, 2018

The Media and Homophobes Belief "The Highest Form of Insult is Calling Out or Being Gay"


"Sometimes we think we have come so far yet a single published comment brings us back to the hay days and all of a sudden we see Oscar Wilde in jail for coming out gay, even though people knew he was most of his life, prior to that" 🦊Adam

 The picture is on back of Restaurant in Lithuania
In politics and pop culture, it seems, villains aren’t just villains because they want to maliciously hurt others.
According to some recent cartoons and opinion pieces—and even our most-prized Disney films—those who do evil do so because they are closeted gay men, ostensibly working out angst about their sexuality in dastardly deeds.
This week, the New York Daily News reported a cover cartoon of President Donald Trump shooting Uncle Sam—a nod to Trump’s 2016 campaign boast that he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and not lose popularity—while strolling hand-in-hand with a bare-chested Russian President Vladimir Putin. It follows a June 25 New York Times opinion piece, “Trump and Putin: A Love Story,” which comments on Trump’s seemingly deferential relationship with Putin. It includes video cartoons with homoerotic imagery; in one, the men kiss passionately as Trump tweaks Putin’s nipples.
These illustrations—and others like them (Leading picture ↑↑)—imply that suggesting a man is gay is the highest form of insult and that the endless list of both men’s shameful activities pales in comparison to the hypothetical “sin” of being gay.  
The implication isn’t coded at all. It’s offered as an answer to the question: Why is Trump, typically a braggadocious figure, being so conciliatory to Vladimir Putin? The “Trump and Putin are gay for each other” memes often (as is the case in the cartoon featured in the New York Times) portray Trump as the more “submissive” or receptive partner. He just can’t quit Putin. In this logic, the ultimate way to humiliate a straight-presenting man is to “feminize” him.
This juvenile and nakedly homophobic method of “insulting” Donald Trump may seem arbitrary and isolated, but it’s not. It speaks to the tendency of many people across the political spectrum to ascribe bad behavior and outright villainy in men to latent or unacknowledged queerness. In other words, the closet is the breeding ground for pain and suffering that straight-presenting men then inflict on those around them. This trope has a long history in real life and in art—and in seeking to demonize these men, it actually serves to other queerness and cloaks it in inherent malevolence. It’s a deeply problematic narrative that we’re socialized with in childhood.
We need only look as far as media aimed at children to get the unvarnished espousals of societal ideals. Which brings us to Disney. Despite the absence of explicit, textual queerness in Disney films, coded dialogue and mannerisms have certainly positioned some characters in this fashion.
Beauty and the Beast (both the 1991 animated film and the 2017 live-action adaptation) features a problematic man whose bad behavior flows from his unacknowledged queerness. The sexuality of the character LeFou, who serves as second banana to the film’s main villain Gaston, has been called into question. In a 2017 interview, Bradley Pierce (who voiced the dancing teacup Chip in the 1991 original film) stated that he always believed LeFou to be gay. LeFou worships Gaston, even singing an ode to Gaston’s virtues as a well-muscled, attractively hairy specimen of masculinity who need not worry about his ability to win the heart of heroine Belle. Speculation about the character became controversy when the 2017 filmmakers characterized LeFou (played by actor Josh Gad) as the first openly gay character in a Disney film, though the critical scene in the film hardly settles the issue of LeFou’s sexuality.
Despite the tepid and toothless way LeFou’s queerness is addressed in the 2017 film, it still invites a larger question: Why is the weak and insidious LeFou’s cultlike worshipping of a clearly violent, misogynistic, and tyrannical Gaston (not unlike Trump praising Putin’s “strongman” dictatorial tendencies) being attributed to latent queerness?
Disney suggested that awful men who support and uplift other more outwardly powerful and oppressive men are doing so because they are romantically and sexually infatuated with them. It not-so-subtly imparts the message that a man who loves another man is somehow blinded and brainwashed—a slave to villainous influence. It also erases the very real fact that awful men have historically made excuses for other equally awful men in the name of protecting and upholding toxic masculinity.
The latently queer antagonist of children’s stories also appears in television. Frank Underwood on Netflix’s House of Cards (Kevin Spacey) is a sneaky, corrupt politician who eventually rises to the U.S. presidency. Underwood commits murder at the end of the first season, in a moment of political and personal expediency. He is a reprehensible person, very much the dynamic male anti-hero that television and film viewers love to hate.
Frank Underwood is also sexually fluid, engaging in extramarital affairs with both men and women. The show treats this aspect of Underwood’s personal life as being just as salacious as his criminal activity. It’s framed as a symptom of Underwood’s negotiable moral code—his ability to cheat on his wife with men (perish the thought!) and also negotiates that as a given in his marriage, covering it up while he commits various misdeeds to further his political career.
In a very complicated way, Underwood’s sexual dealings are art imitating life. It’s no secret that Kevin Spacey was fired from his gig at House of Cards due to sexual misconduct allegations involving him and underage boys. One of the accusers was the now-adult Anthony Rapp, who says he was only 14 years old when a 26-year-old Spacey sexually and forcefully propositioned him. After the flood of allegations, Spacey publicly came out as a gay man. Despite the fact that the story should have been about Spacey’s targeting underage boys for sex, much of the press focused on Spacey’s admission of his sexuality. Spacey’s choice of this particular moment to come out was roundly denounced by those in the queer community.
But, in an unspoken and disturbing fashion, the focus on Spacey’s sexual orientation sent that all-too-familiar message: His alleged criminal behavior—targeting juveniles for sexual activity—was caused by queerness. That conclusion feeds into the notion that gay men are inherently predatory, especially gay men who are concealing their sexuality.
This ascribing of homophobic male villainy boils down to one message: Men like Trump and Putin or everyday men who aren’t heads of state inflict homophobic violence onto queer people because they are latently gay. This recklessly strips responsibility for homophobia from straight people, who have historically been the arbiters of it and pass it along to queer people. If we follow the ridiculous reasoning inherent in these cartoons and other pop culture, when LGBTQ people are oppressed, we must believe that oppression emanates from the LGBTQ community. How cowardly.
I am not here to defend Donald Trump or Vladimir Putin against accusations of queerness or the fictional LeFou for his being a willing accomplice to Gaston. That’s neither my responsibility nor something I feel inclined to do since being queer is not an insult.
My objection lies in the troubling and homophobic suggestion that the strategic and mutually beneficial Trump-Putin relationship, their oppression of LGBTQ people within their respective borders and their detrimental effect on global affairs comes from unexpressed or secret homosexuality. Similarly, my objection lies in the assumption that LeFou’s same-sex attraction to another man blinded him to that man’s excesses.
The misdeeds of bigoted men shouldn’t be laid at the doorsteps of queer people. Terror starts at home. And when it comes to the issue of homophobia and how it infects our society, straight men need to finally live up to the policy of “you break it, you bought it.”

May 7, 2017

Shepard Smith Coming Out and Details of His Closeted Life



 Shepard and his office romance of 2011 with 26 yrs old  Gio Graciano 


Some background:
Shepard Smith, the endlessly endearing (and easily angered) Fox News anchor, has likened the right-wing channel to a “family,” with president Roger Ailes as its domineering father. Which makes it only slightly awkward that in early 2012, the 49-year-old anchor started courting an attractive young production assistant who worked under him on Fox Report With Shepard Smith. Now they are a couple.
Shepard Smith Tells Waitress: “Get My Fucking Drink!”
Shepard Smith, the new director of Fox News’ breaking news operation, is by far the channel’s most…
Gawker has learned that Smith is dating a 26-year-old Penn State grad and Fox Business producer named Giovanni “Gio” Graziano. According to multiple sources with knowledge of their relationship, the couple met sometime after Graziano started working at Fox Report in October 2011 as a production assistant. He’s the man with whom Smith frequents Bathtub Gin.
“Yes, that’s Shepard’s boyfriend,” Katya Minskova, the Bathtub Gin waitress Smith berated in March, confirmed to Gawker when shown a photo of Graziano. Another source who had seen them together at the Chelsea speakeasy confirmed Graziano’s identity as well. Both sources say they saw Graziano and Smith together at the bar on multiple occasions, and that they appeared to be romantically involved.
While Smith and Graziano’s boss Roger Ailes, a notorious homophobe, was apparently kept in the dark about the relationship—“higher ups had no idea,” a source close to Graziano said—the pair doesn’t appear to have gone to great lengths to keep the workplace romance from their co-workers.
Gawker

 Main Story:

Shepard Smith, a Fox News anchor since 1996, revealed last week that he had no intention of opening up about his sexuality the way he did during an April speech at his alma mater.

Speaking at a conference, Smith was tapped to talk on a panel titled “It Starts With MEek,” one that was meant to promote inclusivity and diversity. According to a report made by the Clarion-Ledger, Smith changed his speech at the last minute to reflect the crux of the conversation and decided to tell his own story of inclusivity and diversity.

“It wasn’t until seven, or eight, or nine years ago, I started living my truth,” Smith told the crowd gathered to hear the panel. “I grew up in Holly Springs (Miss.). I went to the First Methodist Church. I went to Ole Miss. I was also trying to avoid what having a normal social life is. I didn’t need to go home and find my girlfriend or boyfriend.”

He revealed that he dropped out of college in 1987, just two credits short of graduating, and began working on television in Florida. Smith said that at that time, coming out wasn’t something he’d even considered. Married to Virginia Donald from 1987-1993, Smith didn’t really have the option.

“A. You’re going to hell for it,” Smith said about his internal battle over coming out as homosexual. “B. You’ll never have any friends again. 
"C. What are you going to tell your family? And by the way, you’re on television on the craziest conservative network on Earth. That will probably put you in front of a brick wall. Of course none of that was true, but that’s how it felt.”

He continued, “I don’t think about it. It’s not a thing. I go to work. I manage a lot of people. I cover the news. I deal with holy hell around me. I go home to the man I’m in love with.”

Smith also took the time to stamp out old rumors that former Fox News chief Roger Ailes forbid him from coming out.

The Fox News reporter came out in October 2016 and noted that he never had a poor experience with Ailes.

“It’s such a wonderful place,” he told the Huffington Post in an interview about the Fox organization, “and it’s been home forever. [Ailes] was very fatherly and mentorish.”

About the reports that Ailes forced him to closet his sexuality, Smith denied it ever happened, but revealed that purported homophobic remarks made by Ailes in the past — but never around Smith — did hurt him.

“He was as nice as he could be to me. I loved him like a father,” Smith admitted. “I trusted him with my career and with ― I trusted him and trusts were betrayed. People outside this company can’t know [how painful that betrayal was]. This place has its enemies, but inside, it was very personal, and very scarring and horrifying.” By      on  The Blaze

October 17, 2016

Fox’s Shepard Smith Comes Out Gay





 

Fox News anchor Shepard Smith came out as gay in an interview Monday.

In Smith’s sit down with the Huffington Post, the anchor denied that his former boss Roger Ailes ever prevented him from coming out publicly.

“That’s not true. He was as nice as he could be to me. I loved him like a father,” Smith said.

Smith indicated that Ailes did not express contempt for homosexuality when he was around him, saying Fox News was a “warm” work environment under Ailes’ reign.

“No, never. He treated me with respect, just respect,” Smith said. “He gave me every opportunity in the world and he never asked anything of me but that we get it right, try to get it right every day. It was a very warm and loving and comfortable place.”

Nevertheless, Smith said trust was lost with Ailes after reports of sexual harassment came to light.
 
“I trusted him with my career and with ― I trusted him and trusts were betrayed. People outside this company can’t know [how painful that betrayal was]. This place has its enemies, but inside, it was very personal, and very scarring and horrifying.”
 
Smith, never afraid to veer from the network’s orthodoxy, was one of the few Fox News anchors who reported on Ailes’ improprieties, leading the coverage when the rest of the network was neglecting the shameful story.

In his interview Monday, Smith suggested a pathway to a new era of Fox News:

“We have to make sure there aren’t young victims wandering around here who need us. We have to get appropriate counselors in here. We have to make sure legally everybody’s protected and have to make a commitment to be the most transparent, open and welcoming organization of our kind in the world, and I’m determined to be a part of the team that makes it happen.”

Several years ago, Gawker heavily pursued rumors that Smith was romantically involved with a male 26-year-old Fox staffer, and that the right-wing news network might be silencing the relationship to conceal the fact that one of its famous personalities was homosexual.


Why did it take so long?

According to Gawker:

 Why did it take Shepard Smith so long to come out? The affable Fox News anchor has a longtime boyfriend, ranks among Fox’s most senior talent, and lives in New York City. It could be, of course, that he’s just a very private person, or—as the Times argued in October—that public attitudes have changed and nobody cares if a famous figure is gay.

Shepard Smith’s Office Romance: A 26-Year-Old Fox Staffer
Shepard Smith, the endlessly endearing (and easily angered) Fox News anchor, has likened the…
Or it could be that, when Smith tried to come out last year, Fox silenced and punished him.

In the summer of 2013, according to multiple sources with knowledge of their exchange, Shepard Smith approached Fox News president Roger Ailes about publicly coming out. The newly attached anchor was eager, at the time, to finally acknowledge his sexuality. “It’s time,” he told Ailes and other colleagues. “It’s time.”

Instead, Ailes informed Smith that the network’s famously conservative audience would not tolerate a gay news anchor. Ailes’ answer was definitive: Smith could not say he’s gay.

“This came up during contract negotiations,” a Fox insider told Gawker. “Shep wanted to and was ready to come out, and Roger just said no.”

Smith, one of Ailes’s first and most loyal disciples, acquiesced to his boss’s demand, and dropped the matter. But the discussion worried enough Fox executives to prompt Smith’s removal, in September 2013, from the channel’s coveted prime-time lineup. According to a Fox insider with direct knowledge of negotiations, Smith’s desire to come out was a large factor in the dramatic move.

“They tried to play it up as a big promotion,” the insider said. “But everyone knew that Shep was getting demoted. And the coming out thing was a significant part of that.”

It’s difficult to square all of this with Smith’s characterization of Ailes as an uncommonly honest businessman, a second father who would never hurt him. “Roger has always had my back and never lied to me and never told me what to say,” Smith said in 2009.

Yet Smith’s demotion wasn’t actually Ailes’s idea to begin with. Nor was Ailes very surprised when Smith finally approached him. “Roger has known Shep has been gay for a long time,” a current Fox staffer said. So why was Ailes suddenly afraid of everyone else knowing, too?

 
A few weeks before approaching Ailes about coming out, Smith surprised Fox staffers by bringing his boyfriend, a 26-year-old Fox producer named Gio Graziano, to a company picnic at Ailes’s compound in Garrison, New York. Held annually on Independence Day weekend, the picnic is a small gathering—only executives, on-air talent, and their frontline producers are invited—so Smith likely felt comfortable bringing along his steady partner.

Despite the intimate venue, the new couple put several Fox executives on high alert. According to multiple sources with knowledge of the picnic, the most dramatic reaction came from Bill Shine, the channel’s Executive Vice President of Programming. Shine “flipped out,” one source said, after* Smith introduced Graziano to attendees. (Within and outside of Fox, Shine, who is 50 and grew up on Long Island, carries a reputation for insensitivity toward gay people. “He’s a major, major homophobe,” a Fox insider said.)

Back in New York City, Shine called a meeting among high-level executives to discuss a plan of action regarding Smith. “His fear was that Shep’s audience would implode,” said an individual familiar with the meeting, during which Shine forcefully argued against Smith coming out. His argument was simple: Our audience is not ready for a gay anchor.

Shine’s plea wasn’t particularly well-received. (“Everyone’s jaws just dropped,” a Fox insider said.) But the potential impact on Fox’s ratings was enough to scare Ailes into believing his lieutenant’s apocalyptic scenario. Fox’s unparalleled numbers are, after all, what give Ailes almost complete autonomy over his channel’s content, and immense power within Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox.

With Ailes’ approval, Shine quickly choreographed Smith’s move from Fox’s 7 p.m. block, where he anchored The Fox Report, to the 3 p.m. block, where he currently runs Shepard Smith Reporting. Anticipating Smith’s desire to come out, Shine also coached Ailes on what to say when Smith finally approached him.

Ailes, meanwhile, ordered the channel’s media-relations shop to control any leaks or coverage of Smith’s romantic life. To this day, a Fox insider told Gawker, “the P.R. department tries to prevent anyone from talking about Shep’s sexuality.”

(Of course, that hasn’t always worked. When Gawker noted in March that Smith wasn’t attending a gay journalists gala sponsored by Fox News, the P.R. shop scrambled to place Smith on the guest list. “Gawker’s reporting obviously caused them to do that,” said a source familiar with the shop’s decision, which turned out to be less bold than it seemed: Smith showed up with three Fox minders to insulate the anchor from any reporters.)

Shine’s behind-the-scenes maneuvering troubled many at Fox. “It’s totally backwards thinking,” an insider at the channel said. And it flew against the gay-friendly image Ailes had worked so hard to construct among New York’s media elite. The image was always cynical—if Ailes sponsors the N.L.G.J.A., or blurbs Rachel Maddow, both will naturally think twice before criticizing his channel. But it depended on the basic assumption that Ailes didn’t mistreat actual gay people in his immediate vicinity. (He merely employs hosts who bemoan the Girl Scouts’ “homosexual overtones.”)

Smith seems to have brought Ailes, and Fox News, to an impassable contradiction: Either embrace the anchor’s wish to come out (and risk the audience’s revolt or desertion) or completely reject it (and risk Fox’s acceptance among a community for whom coming out is an immutable right). Up until now, very few have known that Ailes even had to make such a choice.

Smith, Ailes, Shine, and Fox News all declined repeated requests for comment.

* Correction: Shine tells TVNewser that he did not attend the picnic. The sentence has been corrected to reflect that Shine negatively reacted after learning that Smith brought his boyfriend to the Independence Day picnic.

Update 1: Smith and Ailes provided TVNewser with the following statement:

This story is 100% false and a complete fabrication. As colleagues and close friends at Fox News for 18 years, our relationship has always been rooted in a mutual respect, deep admiration, loyalty, trust, and full support both professionally and personally.
Update 2: In a statement to Politico, Fox clarified the timeline of Smith’s negotiations over his contract and revised role. Smith renewed his contract on June 7, which Fox noted in a July 2 press release about Megyn Kelly. Over two months later, in mid-September, Fox announced Smith’s departure from the channel’s prime-time block. At the time, Smith told Business Insider that he and Roger Ailes began tentative discussions about a new role for Smith in late April.

August 11, 2016

NBC and It’s Problem with Gay Athletes


Tom Daley and Dan Goodfellow compete in the Olympic men's synchronised 10-meter platform event, Aug. 8, 2016



Many of us have been aware of a problem with NBC and gays, particularly in sports. Outsports.com names particular problems with gays in sports and how NBC deals with their sexual orientation. Its like if NBC was either embarrassed for them or just embarrass to have to deal with these famous athletes just because of who they are which should be none of anyone business but they do have lives and spouses, boyfriends and sometimes even children. Why not just treat them as professionals NBC and forget about the bedroom stuff?


The post below was posted by   on Out Sports

It's been apparent for years.

When Australian diver Matthew Mitcham won gold in the 10-meter platform in Beijing, stopping a Chinese sweep of diving gold on the final dive of the sport's final event, NBC Sports, the perennial broadcaster in the United States of the Olympic Games, failed to mention Mitcham's partner in the stands despite highlighting the partners of other straight athletes. Even worse, the network failed to mention that Mitcham was the only publicly out gay-male athlete at the Games.

When called on it, NBC first argued that the network doesn't discuss sexual orientation (despite the historic nature of Mitcham's win) then offered a terse two-sentence "apology."

Eight years later, nothing has changed at NBC. The network failed to identify Dustin Lance Black in the audience of the men's synchro diving finals as bronze-medalist Tom Daley's fiancé. Not boyfriend, not long-time friend... fiancé. And an Oscar-winning fiancé at that (read: public interest). They are, arguably, the "it" couple of the gay community, yet NBC didn't mention a word.
 
When NBC broadcast the match of Brazilian volleyball player Larissa França, they followed her to the stands where she embraced her wife. NBC commentator Chris Marlowe's color commentary?

"That is her husband. She married Lili in 2013 and Larissa is celebrating with her pals."

Her husband. You can't write this shit. Yet NBC released no public apology, relying on a one-line statement from Marlowe.

At the U.S. Olympic diving trials, diver Jordan Windle was accompanied by his two dads.

"They wouldn't say 'Jordan's dads' during the finals of Olympic Trials," Jerry Windle said. "They just said 'parents.' Then they wouldn't show both Andre and I together like they showed other parents."

Two years ago in Sochi, all of the NBC networks combined offered less than two hours of coverage of LGBT issues, including the new anti-gay law that had been implemented in Russia, during the 18 days of the Winter Olympics. There were mentions of the plight of Russian LGBT people during primetime coverage by NBC Sports, but according to HRC it diminished over time and was mostly pushed away from NBC Sports and onto MSNBC. According to HRC, during two of the Winter Olympic days -- 14 and 17 -- there was no coverage of the issue on any of NBC's networks.

To be clear, this all goes well beyond the Olympics.

For the last few years NBC Sports has employed an avowed proud homophobe, Tony Dungy, as one of its lead NFL commentators. Dungy has raised money to oppose equality for gay people, has said he "disagrees" with Jason Collins being gay and, in a fit of hypocrisy, said he would not want openly gay NFL player Michael Sam on his team.

Of course the network also employs openly gay commentator Johnny Weir. It's the one possible on-air feather in the network's cap. Though Weir's dress and manner leave some reducing him to the role of clown, it's a role he welcomes and plays well while also offering some great figure skating commentary. His antics (while I appreciate them) leave many gay people wishing for less.

Still, it's impossible to make the case that NBC Sports is sensitive to LGBT issues. While NBC has started NBC Out and has a robust NBC-Universal LGBT employee network, that is desperately lost on the coverage NBC provides sports.

While Dungy's continued employment on NBC Sports' cornerstone program is a slap in the face of the entire LGBT community, the subpar job the network has demonstrated covering LGBT athletes and issues at the Olympics over the years is downright inexcusable.

There are plenty of opportunities for NBC to recover. Ten days of LGBTI athletes competing and winning lie ahead. Will the network acknowledge their presence? Simply demonstrate the common courtesy to these athletes they show their straight counterparts?

Frankly, I doubt it. Their failure to properly address the Mitcham snub eight years ago, followed by transgression after transgression, shows very clearly that NBC Sports couldn't care less about gay athletes or gay fans. Maybe ESPN can get in the running to broadcast future Olympics.

June 17, 2015

Russian State Reporter Sorry for Anti Gay Propaganda



There have been some controversial departures from the state-run English-language channel RT in recent years but this is the first time since the beginning of the Ukraine crisis that a high-profile correspondent from a major terrestrial channel has criticised his employer so publicly. 
In an interview with the independent news site, Meduza, Mr Goldenzweig said he was ousted from NTV shortly after giving the interview on June 8 to the Phoenix channel, in which he said that Mr Putin felt “insulted” for being excluded from the G7 meeting of leading states in Bavaria. 
He said he had already decided to leave NTV at the end of July after becoming disillusioned with his work, but he was forced out early after the general director of the channel became enraged at his interview comments.
“I am truly ashamed of what I have been doing for the last year and a half,” he told Meduza. 
Before autumn last year Mr Goldenzweig had managed to avoid politicizing his reporting, producing frequent dispatches about German culture, but he then started to get frequent orders for crude propaganda from Moscow, he said. 
                                                                       

He was told to report that anti-homophobia activists who criticised Mr Putin in Europe were part of a “dirty campaign against the tsar-daddy” and that Angela Merkela, Germany’s chancellor, was a puppet of the US, Mr Goldenzweig explained. 
Another task was to report on demonstrations in Germany of what the reporter called “some freaks” who supported Novorossiya, the word Mr Putin has used to describe areas of Ukraine he believes are Russian. 
Russian state television reports that have been dismissed as false include one that said Ukrainian officials crucified a three-year-old boy, and another that claimed Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was shot down last year by a Ukrainian jet. 
Mr Goldenzweig said an objective report he filed about Germany offering compensation to former Soviet prisoners of war was changed to say German officials had deliberately delayed the initiative so that the people concerned died out and there would be less to pay. 
He said that he had gradually learned to compromise with himself over producing propaganda but that, “eventually a firm conviction appeared that I was doing something that was not right”. 
“It was not just a question of conscience,” he told Meduza. “It's simply that you were trained for one trade - journalism - and you find yourself at times doing something completely different. And you realise that the longer you do this rubbish, the harder it will be to get out of this rut." 
Mr Goldenzweig said that he had been left with 352 euros in his bank account after losing his job and expected he would now be unofficially banned from Russian television. But he said he was glad to have “cleansed my karma”. 
In a Facebook post about a collection of his reports on NTV, said: “I apologise for my shameful participation in this disgrace.” 
He added: “That’s it, I’m off for a disinfection.”

April 12, 2015

Homophobes and Idiots Unaware of Parody Don’t Rest Complaints to FCC about SNL






                                                                             

Complaining about Saturday Night Live is a national pastime at this point, but nobody is better at it than the subsection of America that still files official complaints to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). And no one is more outraged by SNL than homophobes, prudes, and people who really hate Justin Timberlake. Well, that and people who don't understand parody.
The Atlantic looked at the last three year's worth of FCC complaints and the patterns are clear. When you feel you have to preemptively clarify that you aren't a prude, you've just proven you probably are a prude.
These are people who identify, in many cases, as white and Christian. Many of them said they were worried about kids hearing bad words. A few made the point of telling the FCC they weren't prudes as a way to justify or at least contextualize their overall complaints. Several were explicit about how they were "extremely offended." The words "smut" and "garbage" came up more than once. The states where the most complaints originated were Texas, California, New York, Michigan, and Colorado...
Among the objectionable material are references to masturbation and to human trafficking ("no laughing matter," someone said). One person complained generally about Miley Cyrus. Lady Gaga, too. And plenty of people were concerned with profanity. Most of the words that people found objectionable were Carlinesque. Others were more surprising.
You can see some of the funniest complaints below. All seem to fall into one of the three big subcategories (homophobes, prudes, or people who really hate Justin Timberlake). Oh, and racists. There's always racists.
  • "Dick In A Box": "It was the Christmas show suggesting that men should give women their penis in a box as a present. I was offended, let alone thinking that younger children would have the opportunity to see the program."
  • More "Dick In A Box": "It was not funny and it was beyond vulgar. The segment even includes Justin Timberlake whom was involved in the Janet Jackson superbowl stunt."
  • Jimmy Fallon/Justin Timberlake Christmas episode: "Last night's airing of Saturday Night Live … was the most filthy, obscene and objectionable program I believe I have ever seen in my life. For a 69-year-old, who has seen a lot on broadcast and cable TV, that is saying a lot … Overtly smutty skits and songs … I found it necessary after a very short while to tune out and switch to PBS, where our still civilized British cousins provide decent and enjoyable programming."
  • "Porn Stars" sketch (featuring, who else, Timberlake): "Simply put an actress portraying a porn star made a direct reference to manually stimulating a horse. The term 'Jacked off a horse' was used."
  • "Djesus Unchained": "It was a bad night in television," one person wrote. "Even the twenty-somethings I was with were shocked."
  • Jamie Foxx: "Jamie Foxx is offensive. I am sick and tired of people being racist on TV because they are non-white. If this were a white person it would have been pulled off the air."
  • "Wilderness Lodge": "I am offended by the gay acceptance message this skit portrays." 
  • SNL's pro-homosexuality agenda: "And you also did nothing when they showed a pro-homosexual episode [with] multiple men making out with each other," someone from Michigan wrote. "Do you have a bias against Christianity and do you have a bias that is for promoting homosexuality?"
  • "Glengary Glen Christmas": "The word 'son-of-a-bitch' was used in a parody of Kris Kringle's elves ... I am offended that we are allowing our culture to devolve language that is not uplifting and only reduces the quality of communication."
  • Drunk Uncle: "The 'Drunk Uncle' character made several vulgar and inappropriate statements regarding breasts—[he] used several nicknames for them."
This reminds us: "Dick In A Box" is still really good.
For more FCC fun, check out 226 pages of SNL complaints from between 2008 and 2012 here [PDF]. People have been complaining about Timberlake for years!

May 1, 2014

Shepard Smith’s Coming Out got him Ailes- kicking him Back into the Fox-closet

 This is been more than an open secret and we have put our two cents in like other bloggers. Now Slate comes out with the story behind the story and here it is as it appeared at Gawker by J.K. Trotter~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~How Fox News Shoved Shepard Smith Back Into The Closet


Why hasn’t Shepard Smith come out yet? The affable Fox News anchor has a longtime boyfriend, ranks among Fox’s most senior talent, and lives in New York City. It could be, of course, that he’s just a very private person, or—as the Times argued in October—that public attitudes have changed and nobody cares if a famous figure is gay.
Or it could be that, when Smith tried to come out last year, Fox silenced and punished him.
In the summer of 2013, according to multiple sources with knowledge of their exchange, Shepard Smith approached Fox News president Roger Ailes about publicly coming out. The newly attached anchor was eager, at the time, to finally acknowledge his sexuality. “It’s time,” he told Ailes and other colleagues. “It’s time.”
Instead, Ailes informed Smith that the network’s famously conservative audience would not tolerate a gay news anchor. Ailes’ answer was definitive: Smith could not say he’s gay.
“This came up during contract negotiations,” a Fox insider told Gawker. “Shep wanted to and was ready to come out, and Roger just said no.”
Smith, one of Ailes’s first and most loyal disciples, acquiesced to his boss’s demand, and dropped the matter. But the discussion worried enough Fox executives to prompt Smith’sremoval, in September 2013, from the channel’s coveted prime-time lineup. According to a Fox insider with direct knowledge of negotiations, Smith’s desire to come out was a large factor in the dramatic move.
“They tried to play it up as a big promotion,” the insider said. “But everyone knew that Shep was getting demoted. And the coming out thing was a significant part of that.”
It’s difficult to square all of this with Smith’s characterization of Ailes as an uncommonly honest businessman, a second father who would never hurt him. “Roger has always had my back and never lied to me and never told me what to say,” Smith said in 2009.
Yet Smith’s demotion wasn’t actually Ailes’s idea to begin with. Nor was Ailes very surprised when Smith finally approached him. “Roger has known Shep has been gay for a long time,” a current Fox staffer said. So why was Ailes suddenly afraid of everyone else knowing, too?

How Fox News Shoved Shepard Smith Back Into The ClosetSEXPAND
Roger Ailes and Bill Shine (Getty Images)

A few weeks before approaching Ailes about coming out, Smith surprised Fox staffers by bringing his boyfriend, a 26-year-old Fox producer named Gio Graziano, to a company picnic at Ailes’s compound in Garrison, New York. Held annually on Independence Day weekend, the picnic is a small gathering—only executives, on-air talent, and their frontline producers are invited—so Smith likely felt comfortable bringing along his steady partner.
Despite the intimate venue, the new couple put several Fox executives on high alert. According to multiple sources with knowledge of the picnic, the most dramatic reaction came from Bill Shine, the channel’s Executive Vice President of Programming. Shine “flipped out,” one source said, when Smith introduced Graziano to attendees. (Within and outside of Fox, Shine, who is 50 and grew up on Long Island, carries a reputation for insensitivity toward gay people. “He’s a major, major homophobe,” a Fox insider said.)
Back in New York City, Shine called a meeting among high-level executives to discuss a plan of action regarding Smith. “His fear was that Shep’s audience would implode,” said an individual familiar with the meeting, during which Shine forcefully argued against Smith coming out. His argument was simple: Our audience is not ready for a gay anchor.
Shine’s plea wasn’t particularly well-received. (“Everyone’s jaws just dropped,” a Fox insider said.) But the potential impact on Fox’s ratings was enough to scare Ailes into believing his lieutenant’s apocalyptic scenario. Fox’s unparalleled numbers are, after all, what give Ailesalmost complete autonomy over his channel’s content, and immense power within Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox. 
With Ailes’ approval, Shine quickly choreographed Smith’s move from Fox’s 7 p.m. block, where he anchored The Fox Report, to the 3 p.m. block, where he currently runs Shepard Smith Reporting. Anticipating Smith’s desire to come out, Shine also coached Ailes on what to say when Smith finally approached him.
Ailes, meanwhile, ordered the channel’s media-relations shop to control any leaks or coverage of Smith’s romantic life. To this day, a Fox insider told Gawker, “the P.R. department tries to prevent anyone from talking about Shep’s sexuality.”
(Of course, that hasn’t always worked. When Gawker noted in March that Smith wasn’t attending a gay journalists gala sponsored by Fox News, the P.R. shop scrambled to place Smith on the guest list. “Gawker’s reporting obviously caused them to do that,” said a source familiar with the shop’s decision, which turned out to be less bold than it seemed: Smith showed up with three Fox minders to insulate the anchor from any reporters.)


Shine’s behind-the-scenes maneuvering troubled many at Fox. “It’s totally backwards thinking,” an insider at the channel said. And it flew against the gay-friendly image Ailes had worked so hard to construct among New York’s media elite. The image was always cynical—if Ailessponsors the N.L.G.J.A., or blurbs Rachel Maddow, both will naturally think twice before criticizing his channel. But it depended on the basic assumption that Ailes didn’t mistreat actual gay people in his immediate vicinity. (He merely employs hosts who bemoan the Girl Scouts’ “homosexual overtones.”)
Smith seems to have brought Ailes, and Fox News, to an impassable contradiction: Either embrace the anchor’s wish to come out (and risk the audience’s revolt or desertion) or completely reject it (and risk Fox’s acceptance among a community for whom coming out is an immutable right). Up until now, very few have known that Ailes even had to make such a choice.
Smith, Ailes, Shine, and Fox News all declined repeated requests for comment.
To contact the author of this post, email trotter@gawker.com
[Photo credit: Getty Images]

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